Fast-food burger chain Carl’s Jr. — known for its more than decade-long “slutburger” campaign and its divisive former CEO — might be eyeing a major New York expansion. Nation’s Restaurant News reports that the company is opening its first Manhattan location in Midtown next year, quoting a broker who claims it’s part of a plan to open several locations in the city.
Carl’s Jr. parent company CKE Restaurant Holdings also owns similar burger chain Hardee’s and has more than 3,300 outposts of both nationwide. But New York has yet to have one of either.
The first in the five boroughs will be in Coney Island on Surf Avenue, and the two-story Midtown location at 425-427 Seventh Avenue, between 33rd and and 34th streets, will open in early 2018, according to the company. The spokesperson said he could not confirm an expansion plan at this time.
National chains have historically been underrepresented in New York, but recently, more and more companies have eyed the city for growth. Other companies like Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell, which like Carl’s Jr. have limited NYC presence, now have aggressive plans for new locations.
Carl’s Jr. serves charbroiled burgers and fries, but it’s probably better known for its long-running ad campaign where models and celebrity women sexily ate Carl’s Jr. food. After running them for more than a decade, they started pivoting away from the ads in March. The chain also got in the news this year for its controversial former CEO Andy Puzder, who was at one point considered for a labor secretary position under President Donald Trump.